Police in Colorado believe they have the latest video of Candace Watson and her daughter, Haylee Donathan, who went missing on May 28 when Candace Watson helped convicted sex offender Robbie Potter escape from an Ohio halfway house. A surveillance video at a Stratton, Colorado, gas station revealed a pickup truck believed to be Potter’s. A woman who fit the description of Candace Watson was seen purchasing fuel in the released photos.
Haylee Donathan, her 4-year-old daughter, was not seen in the photos.
Nor was Robbie Potter.
The surveillance photos were taken on June 2.
Authorities have been searching for the trio since May 28. It is unknown if Candace Watson and Haylee Donathan are with Potter of their own volition or if he is holding them captive.
The discovery of Candace Watson in the surveillance photos came just two days after the sighting of Candace Walton at a Wal-Mart in Marion, Ohio. Not only did security cameras pick her up but a friend talked with her while she was in the store.
Authorities are concerned for the welfare of both Watson and Haylee Donathan because Robbie Potter is a Tier III Sex Offender, his crimes involving sex with minors. Potter is wanted for a parole violation and on a federal warrant for probation violation. Haylee was last seen on May 28, although the surveillance footage from the Marion Wal-Mart, which was taken on May 31, shows a shadowy movement within the truck that police believe was Haylee.
Potter escaped from a halfway house in Mansfield, Ohio. The 27-year-old was recently released from an Ohio prison after serving three years for sexually assaulting two young children.
Ohio authorities issued an endangered child alert Monday, June 9, and a nationwide search began. On June 11, three people, including Haylee’s father and uncle, were arrested for helping Robbie Potter escape.
Cyle Watson, Haylee’s uncle, told WBNS-10TV from jail that Candace met Robbie Potter for the first time the day of the escape and might be under his control. He said his niece might also be in danger.
Watson said he became involved in the escape as a way of revenge. He knew Potter from serving time with him when both were in prison as convicted sex offenders. Watson said Potter owed him money, so he decided to help the man escape, hoping Potter would later get caught and get into more trouble. He told WBNS, “”It went from a trick and now things are really, really serious. It’s like, this guy messed with this girl and there’s a chance he might be messing with my niece.”
There is now a $10,000 reward for information leading to Robbie Potter’s arrest being offered by the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Fugitive Task Force.
Authorities are searching for a 1988 black and green Chevy pick-up truck with Ohio license plates ENS9729. However, police caution that Potter has probably changed plates. Anyone with any information regarding the truck or the three people being sought are urged to contact officials by calling 911, the toll free hotline at 866-4WANTED, the Crestline Police Department at 419-683-2222, or the Richland County Division of the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 419-774-3930.